A NEW route into the hospitality industry has been opened up with the launch of a special training centre at the Limerick Enterprise Development Park (LEDP).
Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan was on hand to open the Hospitality and Education Training Centre (HETC) in the former Failte Ireland training facility.
This unit was brought back to life following a hospitality-industry-led effort to produce highly trained staff to provide for the needs of the region.
Led by the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) and supported with funding received from Limerick City and County Council, the newly-opened centre is a partnership project involving SOLAS, the Department of Social Protection, Paul Partnership, Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership, LIT, Failte Ireland, Limerick College of Further Education and representatives from the Hospitality and Tourism sectors.
Some 25 trainees enrolled on a fast-track pilot programme between September and last month, with 90% of these securing work shortly after.
Now, open interviews for the 2015 intake are being held each Monday. There is capacity for a total of 165 places throughout 2015 with three different intakes with focus on the long-term and young unemployed with 60% of places being reserved for participants from Limerick Regeneration Areas. It is envisaged there will be an 80% progression rate to employment and education.
Paul Patton, LCETB, said: “We are delighted to be leading this partnership initiative that aims to bring employment opportunities specifically to those not in employment, education or training.”